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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Spring Fling 2018 with ESGI & Friends​ 🐰🐣🌻​🐝


GUYS! I'm so excited to partner with ESGI and share this amazing offer! 


If you sign up for a trial with ESGI using my promo code: B2195 (before May 15th), you get:

1. ESGI FREE THROUGH AUGUST 31ST
2. $40 SAVINGS off of the 1st Year Purchase Price
3. This ESGI ALL-STAR T-SHIRT with purchase:

4. An ALL-EXPENSES PAID TRIP from ESGI to any one of the Summer 2018 Conferences listed below! 

  • SDE National "I Teach" Conference 
    • Las Vegas, NV 
    • July 9-13 
  • Get Your Teach On! National Conference 
    • San Deigo, CA
    • June 24-26 
  • Elevate! with Mr. Greg 
    • Boston, MA 
    • July 21 
  • Teach it! Fun & New, Tried & True with Kim & Crew 
    • San Antonio, TX 
    • June 28-29 
  • Differentiating From the Start 
    • New Orleans, LA 
    • June 13-15 
New Trial Subscribers can DOUBLE their Odds to win by sharing the campaign with #ESGISPRINGFLING on their social media sites!

You should take advantage of this amazing offer to:

1.} Share progress with your administrators and parents before the end of the school year
2.} Show your colleagues how ESGI can save them SO MUCH TIME!
3.} So you can get it set up and be ready for next school year!

Reasons why I LOVE ESGI:

Assessing in Kindergarten used to make me want to pull my hair out sometimes. Can I get an AMEN?! I'm sure some of you may have heard of and seen posts about ESGI. I've used ESGI for several years when I taught Kindergarten and I don't know what I would have done without it! I recently began using it again for my PLC data as a Pre-K teacher and it's even more amazing since I last used it! I thought I would share how I used it and how it saves me so much precious instructional time! We all know how time-consuming it can be to assess students in Pre-K and Kindergarten because most of it is one-on-one.

Here is a sample of one of my a Kindergarten report card I had to fill out. This is just ONE of 4 pages of our report card. This is the foundational page that we had to update EVERY 3 weeks because we also make copies of it to attach to the progress report. So you can get a little glimpse of how much I use to assess for ONE student and how long that can take.

Before ESGI, I would show my student a flashcard and have to find it on the report card, then mark if they mastered it or not. (Then I'd have to retest all the letters b/c who has time to sort out the cards they already mastered? NOT ME!) It literally took me FOREVER to assess... I did the same thing with sounds, popcorn words and numbers.

Now that I'm a Pre-K teacher, we collect data by capturing the learning taking place through videos, photos, audio, and checklists. Man it's hard to fit it all in some days! But since we started focusing in on specific skills for our PLCs... ESGI has saved my sanity when it comes to testing letters, sounds and numbers each week!


So now let me show you how I use ESGI to save a bunch of time! When you log in and click on a student's name, this is an example of what you would see under the "Pre-reading" tab. To begin a test, you simply click on "Test."


When you click on "Test" under a child's name, this screen pops up:





I chose to test "incorrect items" for the sake of time. So it will only retest this student on the 13 lower case letters she missed last time.



When you are finished assessing, you can click on "Parent Letter" and this is an example of one of my students. I don't send this letter home, but I do use it to keep track each student's progress.



Another great tool that I love is you can print off "flashcards" with the letters/sounds they missed. (You can also do this with any other skill you assess on here such as rhyming words, popcorn words, etc.) The child's name would print in place of the blue boxes on each card, so they don't get mixed up with another student's.




One of my FAVORITE tools is the "Item Analysis", I used this mainly for letters, sounds and numbers. I can easily see what words my students are struggling with and it gives me a starting point for reviewing and reteaching specific skills in small groups.


Here is another screen shot of when I click on a student's name under "Reading" for the popcorn words assessment.



Some other great benefits: YES! YOU CAN CREATE YOUR OWN ASSESSMENTS! I use ESGI mainly to assess: identifying upper case and lower case letters, naming letter sounds, identifying numbers to 20 (since those are the skills we are focusing on in our PLCs). 

But some other skills that you can assess that are ready-made: sight words, rhyming words, identifying beginning, medial and ending sounds, identifying blends, blending sounds to make words, reading CVC words, addition, subtraction, shapes and MORE! There are a ton of premade tests created by some of our favorite teachers on social media like Mr. Greg from Kindergarten Smorgasboard, Heidi from Heidi Songs, Crystal Radke from Kreative in Life, Deedee Wills from Mrs. Wills Kindergarten, Kim Adsit from Kindergals and more!!!! You can search for premade tests by grade level, content area, and more.

You can even loads on the popcorn words each week so we don't have assess words that aren't taught yet. It's awesome and can save you so much time to test little by little!

Any questions? Feel free to ask below! =)

The great thing about ESGI is that they give you a 60 day trial to use so you can get a true feel to see if it will benefit you in your classroom. Click on the link for a great video and to start your free trial!


If you use the promo code B2195 when you purchase, you will receive a discount of $159 (regular pricing -$199) for the initial year! So what are you waiting for? Go check it out! =)




Sunday, March 11, 2018

Teach Your Heart Out- Nashville

It has been FOREVER since I've posted! But I had to get on here and share about the incredible weekend I had! When I found out the Teach Your Heart Out conference was coming to Nashville, I knew I had to make it! And they made it affordable by offering a subscription box where you could pay for the conference monthly up to the conference.

First, lets talk about the swag! I LOOOOOOVE the cup they gave us. We got the cutest cookies and I'm definitely hanging that flag near my desk at school!
 Second, I got to meet some of my favorite teachers I follow on social media. I'm not going to lie... I was fan girling on the inside but I think I played it cool! haha! Michelle and Vera were so genuine and sweet. It really meant a lot to me that they took the time to chit chat with me and take a photo with me! These ladies are such inspiring teachers and it's so cool to meet them in person!

The hotel was AMAZING! I didn't stay there because I only live 15 minutes away, but in the 10 & 1/2 years I've lived in Nashville, I have NEVER been to the Opryland Hotel. I was so beautiful inside! I loved the sound of the water, and it felt like a little village inside. So cool! The conference rooms were beautiful and the seats were super comfy.


They had props for everyone to take photos. I was so sad I didn't get one on the stage before I left yesterday! And I missed out on the photo booth! Bummer!

I thought it was so crazy that Monica Genta was presenting the high school sessions. My youngest sister graduated high school with her and I graduated with her older brother. Small world! (It's only crazy b/c we went to school in a small town in central Illinois!)

The 2nd day, Gerry Brooks spoke and had me crying from laughter. I definitely waited in line to get a photo with him. Even my non-teacher friends/family recognize him! 


I'm sure everyone knows Greg from Kindergarten Smorgasboard. I teach in the same district as Greg and he was so kind and invited me out to dinner with him one night my first year teaching in metro. I felt like I knew him forever when we met. He was so kind and fun to chat with! When I ran into him at the conference, I had to snap a pic with him too! =)


One of my favorite sessions was with Michaela from Especially Education. I'm in NO WAY an Exceptional Education expert, so when I heard she was presenting, I had to go. This year I have a few friends who are non-verbal and her session was on eliciting language through cooking and science experiments in non-verbal children. She gave some great ideas that I'm excited to implement in my classroom!

 Will you believe me? I've NEVER made slime before. So this was exciting for me to make some in her session! =)
The other sessions I attended (but forgot to get pictures of) were Vera's (The Tutu Teacher) on building my classroom library to represent ALL children in my class. I loved this one because it was what I got my masters in! Teaching and Diversity. So I'm a huge advocate on making sure every child is represented and seen in the classroom.
I also attended a session on Teacher Wellness. I'm grateful that the Metro Nashville Pre-K department has begun a Teacher Wellness program where we discuss things that help "fill our cup". B/c we pour so much of ourselves out into our classroom, school and students, that we need to "refill b/c you can't pour from an empty cup." It was another great session! This is definitely an area I'm working on in my own life.
There were so many great sessions but my FAVORITE was the keynote on day 1. Dr. Marcia Tate spoke on 20 Instructional Strategies that Engage the Brain. It was AMAZING. I wrote down so many notes and am inspired to try out some new strategies in my Pre-K classroom.

I'm so thankful I had the opportunity and funds to attend this conference! I highly recommend attending if they have one near you in the future!